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Publisher's Summary

George MacDonald Fraser beloved for his series of Flashman historical novels offers an action-packed memoir of his experiences in Burma during World War II. Fraser was only 19 when he arrived there in the wars final year, and he offers a first-hand glimpse at the camaraderie, danger, and satisfactions of service. A substantial Epilogue, occasioned by the 50th anniversary of VJ-Day in 1995, adds poignancy to a volume that eminent military historian John Keegan described as one of the great personal memoirs of the Second World War.
©2007 George MacDonald Fraser (P)2010 Random House

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Accents

GMF is one of my all time favourites, but I am not sure about the reader. GMF was Anglo-Scottish so why have a very upper class English drawl for the reading? Especially as he has to do the Cumbrian voices, which are so much of the magic of the book. I'm not sure if they are authentic,not being a Cumbrian but frequently they end up sounding like North country Daleks, which I suspect is not quite right!

But get past this, and the book itself is a wonder - Frasers unsentimental vivid ability to put you in the events with him is extraordinary, as is his ability to evoke characters and make the reader empathise with his pride in his comrades. And then there are the desperately moving or very funny set pieces - the scenes where the section share out the kit of a comrade killed in action, the looting of the air drop, and best of all GMF's speculating about what the section would have done if they'd been given the option of dropping the bomb or not, which truly raises the hairs on the back of your neck. And most of all the dialogue.

It pains me as a Flashman fan to say this, but this is the best GMF ever did.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 09-14-17

Absorbing

When I was looking for some sailing stories of the Napoleonic era, I came across the Flashman books. I noted the author, George MacDonald Fraser (1925-2008), had written his memoir about World War II. I decided to get the book.

The book deals with his time in Burma. He served with a platoon of British Soldiers from Cumberland. He used their accent in the book. The Cumberland Dialect is unlike modern English but Fraser provided a translation and glossary to help the reader.
The book is well written. Fraser covers what it was like to be a British soldier in Burma from the boredom of waiting to the horrors of the close quarter jungle fighting. He also provided a brief history of the war in Burma. He was a young man and this was before he became a writer, but his talent comes through as does his superb storytelling ability. After reading this book the reader has a good idea what it was like to fight in the jungle.

The book is eight hours long. David Case (1932-2005) did an excellent job narrating the book. He did great with the Cumberland accent and gently interpreting for the reader. Case was an English actor and multi-award-winning audiobook narrator. Case was the narrator of the Flashman Series. He was one of the pioneering narrators of audiobooks and had a great British accent and voice.




5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Audio file is missing a fair piece of the story

This may be George MacDonald Fraser's finest book, and David Case's performance is excellent. Unfortunately, there's a sizable omission of content around 2:07:30 in that skips over what in the print or kindle versions would have been around 40 pages. The audio version mentions a new cassette at that point; it sounds like a cassette tape was overlooked during the transfer to a digital format. It's a shame, since this omission includes one of the more harrowing battles of the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic story bolstered by a superb performance.

Mr. Fraser's narrative of his time in the British Army during the Burma campaign of WWII successfully framed the wartime for the rank and file soldier. The reader is brought into the relationships he had with his fellow brothers in arms, his leaders, and the demands on the mind and body that accompany such extraordinary circumstances. Mr. Case enhances the listener's experience by associating the nuances of British language and culture described by the author in a way that makes the characters unique and matches the tempo of his speech to the events unfolding in the storyline. I found myself being drawn into the performance and into the mind of the author.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good read

I found this book to be captivating, and a different look at less talked about aspects of WWII. a really good read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Walter
  • Arlington, MA, United States
  • 04-24-13

Excellent book, but did not download completely

Would you try another book from George MacDonald Fraser and/or David Case?

I have read almost everything by GMF. Several times. Excellent writing. Wry wit. Very careful and accurate history - even in the "Flashman" series in which the main character is fictional, but most others are not.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful

Superbly written memoir of combat and British army life in Burma and I do love this narrator's style that fits this so well. (he does a great narration of Orwell too)

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Incredible and entertaining

David Case does a bang up job on Cumberland dialect. Story was engrossing as heck. Loved it!

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

confusing

had trouble following this story. used too many regional words not known in US. I would not reccomend

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Gritty and Humorous!

This intellectual—boots on the ground—account of WWII British infantry combines both the boring and the bold into a sardonic account of combat soldier reality.
George MacDonald Fraser and narrator David Case again provide the listener a taste of humor and history.